On Saturday 12th April the museum received a call asking if the museum’s cherry picker and crew could help a Merlin helicopter at the airport. The tail rotor gearbox sensor had transmitted errors and given a gusty day the technical crew were finding it a difficult task to reach in to service the unit given the height. Previous attempts at access using a pick-up with a tall ladder strapped on were, considering the conditions, more than a bit hazardous.David Kirkpatrick as one of our IPAF trained operators turned out and with another Society member as a ground watcher, provided welcome access to the military. Despite a number of tests and fixes, the part and system failed to respond and they finally had to admit defeat leaving the job to another crew later in the week.
The Merlin was a Mk3 based at RAF Benson and although the aircraft had RAF markings, it was crewed by the Royal Navy prior to it being transferred to Navy control later this year. There have been 5 Merlins used locally in an exercise based at West Freugh in Scotland, across the Solway.
Society staff wish to thank Her Majesty the Queen for tea and coffee provided by her forces and a scone and a piece of tray bake. Thank you Ma’am.